A Mindset Shift: Embracing the Unknown

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By Francine Kalogerou, LAM patient

Francine KalogerouAfter being diagnosed with LAM on February 14 of this year, I had a sudden epiphany of how crazy I've been about my health these last 42 years. I've always been a hypochondriac. I remember being as young as 8 years old when I started the obsession with my health. My grandparents had a book about diseases on a shelf at their house. Every time I visited them, I would pull that book from the shelf and proceed to find myself a disease! It started off innocently enough, but soon I had a lifetime habit of self-diagnosing disease after disease AFTER DISEASE...

As crazy as it sounds, after my diagnosis of LAM, something’s changed. Could it be now that I know I have a disease with no cure, I have just calmed down? Since my diagnosis, my blood pressure has even been normal when it's checked at the doctor's office; it is never in the normal range when I'm there. As a matter of fact, I am always being told that I have white coat syndrome. I guess that’s not the case anymore. Fingers crossed!

 

Worrying has always been my hobby. However, I’m really noticing a change in the way I look at life since my diagnosis. What a crazy moment it was for me when I was told that I have this disease. I remember my stomach dropped in an instant. I felt like I was outside myself looking in; I felt so scared. Once I processed all the information, though, I suddenly felt like everything was going to be okay; the panic just stopped.

 

I hope this feeling isn't temporary. I've always admired people who go with the flow and take it as it comes. I am hoping that I can be that kind of example for somebody, too. I love the saying, “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.” I think it is something everybody should try to achieve. It starts with letting go of the control. I can’t control what has happened to me, but I can control how I respond to it.

 

I’m not saying this is the easiest thing to do. I’m just taking it one day at a time. Embracing the LAM community has also been a huge help to me. Connecting with other women who have this disease has given me the security that I’m not alone in this fight. I will do my best to bring awareness to this disease. 

 

I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know I have today. Yesterday is gone. The future hasn't happened yet. Looking at life and my situation positively is making all the difference in the world. 


Read more about The LAM Foundation's resources for women with LAM. 

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  • Thanks so much for sharing this, Francine. I was diagnosed in January and find I'm very up and down. Some days I am feeling pretty positive, and others I just want to whine a lot! Hang in there!
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